Vitamin D can reduce the risk of respiratory tract infection

Recent research conducted at the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital has revealed that patients who are at risk for infections who consume vitamin D may be less likely to develop respiratory tract infections.

During the study, which was published in the BMJ Open, scientists analyzed a group of 140 Immunodeficiency Unit patients who were prone to infection and had showed signs of respiratory tract infections. One group of the patients was issued vitamin D and another group was given a placebo. The subjects also kept diaries in which they would record their health throughout the study.

After a year-long period, the respiratory tract infections in the patients declined by nearly 25 percent, while the reliance on antibiotics was cut in half. There were also no serious side effects caused by the supplement.

“Our research can have important implications for patients with recurrent infections or a compromised immune defense, such as a lack of antibodies, and can also help to prevent the emerging resistance to antibiotics that come from overuse,” said study author Peter Bergman, M.D., researcher at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Laboratory Medicine.

Further vitamin D benefits
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vitamin D can bolster immunity and a deficiency of the vitamin can increase the risk of infection.

Vitamin D is also conducive to calcium absorption and may prevent bones from becoming weak and brittle. Children with low levels of vitamin D may develop rickets, which occurs when the bones become soft, and can result in inhibited tooth growth, reduced muscle tone, muscle cramps and a slew of skeletal deformities such as bowlegs, bumps in the rib cage as well as pelvic and spinal deformities.

Vitamin D also has myriad benefits for adults. In conjunction with calcium, the NIH notes that vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis. Previous research has also found that people who are deficient in vitamin D fall more often, and by taking a vitamin D supplement, people can reduce the risk of falling by nearly 22 percent.

According to the NIH, some other possible benefits of the vitamin include reducing the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, preventing some forms of cancer, reducing the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and inhibiting tooth loss in elderly people.

People can get vitamin D from sunlight absorption, fortified beverages and cereals and a Skinny D supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.